Fr. Luke Moortgat’s proposal for Mass for the Deaf

From the CBCP:

Fr. Luke Moortgat, CICM underscored the importance of interpreting at different occasions.

He said the day was also a great opportunity to inform the general public of the presence of deaf in our society who need our help to be accepted and to become productive members of our nation.

Fr. Moortgat discussed the various programs of the Episcopal Commission on Health Care including their ministry for the deaf and other persons with disabilities.

Thirty-six interpreters, teachers of the deaf and others who studied at least the first level of Sign language strongly supported the idea to be among the members of the local Diocesan and Parochial Commissions who are active volunteers for interpreting during Holy Mass, teaching catechism, and other activities.

He believed the commission should be informed if parishioners find the interpreters during Mass as a distraction.

The priest said there is a need to explain the significance of interpreters’ role for the active participation of the disabled during the Holy Mass.

He strongly suggested to have one Holy Mass every Sunday for all the handicapped.

The handicapped can take roles in the celebration, he said, such as a blind taking care of the first reading and intellectually disabled being part of the offertory procession together with those who are wheelchair bound and also the presence of an interpreter for the deaf.

I think putting interpreters during the mass is a distraction.  If the deaf can read, it is better that they follow the mass using their missals.  If they can’t read, then it is better to catechetize them before the mass on the meaning of the mass rituals, especially on the meaning of Transubstatiation and when this occurs during the mass.  Thus, for the sake of the deaf, it is important to strengthen fidelity to established rubrics on the celebration of the mass, because the sense of sight and smell are used by the deaf to know what is going on.  This means proper attire for priests and sacristans, proper furnishings at the altar, and use of incense, candles, and bells.

If the mass is aired in the TV, then the interpreter can be given the lower right corner of the TV screen, but they should not be visible in the mass itself.

I also think that we must not have a separate mass for the handicapped.  There should only be one mass for all–saints and sinners, handicapped or physically capable, old or young.

About Quirino M. Sugon Jr
Theoretical Physicist in Manila Observatory

4 Responses to Fr. Luke Moortgat’s proposal for Mass for the Deaf

  1. You are so right! One mass, and one mass for all nationalities, too. The good old Latin one, uniting us. I know how much you desire it. I’m so sorry. And there are people who, having it daily, don’t even go.

    The new mass so emphasizes ‘learning’ over ‘adoration.’ *Everybody* can adore, without words altogether. Disabled people might be better at it, for that matter.

  2. jo says:

    what’s your theology? what theology do you follow? have your read the vatican 2, maybe you should review! I think Jesus himself would welcome everybody to his celebration and would not just ignore the others (specially the with disabilities). You have to reflect on the message of the beatitudes.

  3. Quirino M. Sugon Jr says:

    Jo,
    I am following Catholic Theology. Liturgy is not something that we make on our own wishes but is governed by the rules of the Catholic Church. And those rules are simple: say the black, do the red. Those who are blind can listen to the words. Those who are deaf can read the words. Making extra signs such as movements of the hands interfere with the proper liturgical actions prescribed in the rubrics.

  4. a says:

    you really do not know what are you talking about!! tsk tsk…

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